McKillen bids to stop Barclay acquisition of Maybourne group

Businessman seeks leave to file an injunction preventing Barclay brothers buying his loans

Patrick McKillen is seeking to prevent his Maybourne loans from being sold to the Barclay brothers

Patrick McKillen is seeking to prevent his Maybourne loans from being sold to the Barclay brothers

 


Paddy McKillen yesterday launched a legal bid aimed at preventing the British billionaire Barclay twins, with whom he is in dispute over control of the prestigious Maybourne hotel group, from buying his loans associated with the group from the special liquidators of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC).

Mr McKillen yesterday succeeded with an ex-parte application to the High Court, seeking leave to file an injunction preventing David and Frederick Barclay from buying his Maybourne loans.

He also succeeded with an application seeking leave to file an injunction preventing Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of KPMG, the IBRC liquidators, from selling the loans.

It is expected that a full injunction hearing will take place next month. About €250 million of Mr McKillen’s loans are currently being prepared for sale by the IBRC liquidators.

He borrowed from Anglo Irish Bank to invest in the Maybourne group, which includes the luxury five-star Claridge’s, Berkeley and Connaught properties in London.


Group control
Mr McKillen owns 36 per cent of the group, while the Barclays, who own the Telegraph newspaper group, own the remaining 64 per cent. The two sides have been involved in a long-running court battle in Dublin and London over control of the group.

In a statement last night, a spokeswoman for Mr McKillen said all his loans with IBRC were “fully performing” and that he was not seeking any discount.

“The Barclays are publicly stating that they are attempting to buy our fully performing debt from IBRC as part of their hostile take-over attempt. We are taking this action to prevent that from happening,” she said.

A statement on behalf of the special liquidators said: “The special liquidators are aware that proceedings have been issued by Mr Patrick McKillen against the liquidators, IBRC and others. They are examining the filings made and will be responding in due course. As the matter is before the courts, they will not be making any further comment at this time.”

Last month Mr Wallace and Mr Richardson wrote to debtors, including Mr McKillen, saying that their loans would be sold “as soon as possible”.

McKillen has previously accused Nama and the Department of Finance of being involved in a “sustained strategy” against him.